"Understanding is the first key to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery." Dumbledore

The First Night

Lee didn't know where he was going, but he, Lee, would follow George Weasley to the end of the Earth if it meant making the second twin stop hurting so badly. They ended up at the Burrow, the first ones to leave Hogwarts. George had taken Fred's body and promptly discarded it on the ground and now collapsed in a heap next to it, crying and crying.

"George…" Lee began and then gave up. He couldn't do this. He couldn't comfort grief when his own was so palpable, so raw and overpowering that he wanted to join in on the crying. But he couldn't and Lee, as the other Weasleys often felt in the hours and days and weeks to come, felt that he didn't deserve to cry because George, who was half of who Fred was, kept on living, kept on breathing, and if that was good enough for George than it was good enough for him.

So he didn't cry. Lee Jordan managed to stand guard over the twins he'd become so deeply attached to over the last eight years, the boys who were men who had abandoned their dream shop to come live with him on the run, doling out the worst news with smiles on their faces.

Later, the grief would hit him at different points in the day. When he was at the grocer's, or having a conversation or, more often, in his bed, alone, he would think to himself "Fred Weasley is dead."

And the grief would start all over again.

Ron couldn't bring himself to move the two feet over to his own bed.

First was the adrenaline, pounding through his system that he knew would wear off at any second leaving him bone tired, but for now he couldn't even think about sleep. The dragon, the Room of Requirement, seeing Harry, dead, in Hagrid's arms, watching the goat erupt from Aberfoth's wand…the day could be a year of anyone else's life.

And he knew, deep, deep down that a lot of good had come out of what they had done. For one, Voldemort was dead (he would process that later. For now, he just knew that they got to sleep without worrying about having their throats slit.) Hermione…blimey, Hermione had kissed him right in the middle of the battle…

The Chamber of Secrets, leaping out of the way of Crabbe's killing curse, being buried under a pile of fake, burning cups…oh, how Ron needed a pensieve!

"Fred," Harry said quietly, looking out onto the grounds. From their view at Gryffindor tower they could see celebrations taking place on the front lawn in the early dew of the dawn. Ron felt detached from that merriment, as if he was watching his life happening from afar.

"What's that, mate?" Ron asked, looking at Harry blankly. There it was, that drop in adrenaline, and now he was tired, so, so tired. "What'd you say?"

"Fred." And Ron's face remained impassive. He didn't have the energy anymore to mourn his brother, one of the pair that he'd always admired, idolized, one of the pair who always protected him in their haphazard way. "And Lupin, and Tonks…"

"We'll do it in the morning, Harry." Ron said, patting Harry's knee for fear that the other boy would get up. "Seriously, Harry, I think we deserve this. We'll sleep and let other people worry about it for once."

"Fred," Harry said accusingly, "Lupin and Tonks and who knows who else?"

"Later." Ron promised, "Really, mate, you've had a rough day. Dying and all…" And a lump filled Ron's throat, remembering how it was worse, ten times worse, to see Harry limp in the arms of Hagrid than to see Fred's blank eyes staring up at him. For Harry wasn't just The Chosen One or The Boy Who Lived. Harry was his best friend in the world. And Harry had died.

"Yeah," Harry agreed, still not looking convinced. Still, sheer exhaustion drove all men to the breaking point. "Yeah…later."

"I'll be awake, Harry." Ron promised, because thinking of dead Harry had effectively driven him from all hopes of sleep. "I'll make sure You-Know-Who stays dead, and I'll give him a nice kick if he tries to get in here."

"You do that, Ron." Harry said, rolling onto his side, asleep before the words really had the chance to leave his mouth.

Dennis never really got to the Room of Requirement. He hid behind a tapestry and stunned Death Eaters as they went by. He was rather good, too. Six or seven unconscious bodies piled at his feet.

And when Voldemort was killed he was still on the second floor in an all-out battle with Goyle. Goyle, who had been so vicious to him all year, who had tortured both him and his brother…Dennis wanted to kill him and settled for stunning him in close proximity to a window.

He didn't wait to see the body toppling to the ground before he was off, skidding down the stairs in the direction of the enormous cheers. Colin, he had to see Colin, who would, of course, be talking of nothing else but documenting the occasion, and would whip his camera out from thin air.

For fifteen blissful minutes he was caught up in the tide of good cheer, in the screams of excitement. Voldemort was gone! Peace! Dennis forgot what the word meant, having lived for so long under the threat of Death Eater rule, but he knew that peace was better than what had been, better than war.

After people started dispersing, seeing to friends and relatives, going to spread the good news, Dennis started looking around for Colin. And looking.

"Oy, Dennis!" Hagrid called, his voice low and subdued, and Dennis went, happy to see his favorite teacher still on his feet. Dennis was swept up in a familiar bone-crunching hug and just hung on tight, happy for human contact as the emotions welled up inside him, creating a confused bubble that released themselves in savage sobs.

"I'm sorry, Den, I'm sorry," Hagrid kept saying, and Dennis didn't know why, not really, not until Hagrid let him down and he could see what lay just behind the great giant. Colin, looking much, much too young in death.

And Dennis cried harder, clinging to Hagrid as if the man were his life line and he was drowning in a sea of unhappiness.

Draco knew that this was the last time he would see his parents.

"We're going to prison." His mother had said without preamble as night flung itself into day with reckless abandon. "We're going to get a fair trial, because this new regime wants to prove itself, but we're going to prison."

"It'll be a fair sight better than the last year." Draco said, determined to be happy about this. He had never been a Death Eater, not really, and around his mother he didn't have to pretend. His mother, Draco often suspected, hated the Death Eaters and hated her evil sister more than anyone else in the world.

"You're not coming!" Narcissa hissed, pressing a bag of gold into his hands. "Tell your father goodbye, tell him that you love him, and give your dear mum a kiss, but you will take this gold, change your appearance, and leave this place."

"I won't abandon you, mother!" Draco proclaimed, wincing at the sounds of merriment around him. Didn't everyone know what a crisis he was in? "I'll stick by you and father!"

"Don't be silly, you're still a boy." His mother said, waving a hand dismissively. "You have so much to live for, my dear Draco, and so much capacity for change. You must change, darling, for in this new society it will be Potter's side…or perish."

"Potter," Draco scoffed, happy that there was at least one thing that remained the same. He still couldn't stand the thought of Potter. "I'd rather go to prison that be ruled by him."

"You could learn a thing or two from Potter, son." Narcissa Malfoy said, patting Draco's cheek. It was the last thing she ever said to her son.

Luna sat in the room with Ginny, who was crying. Luna thought it was probably for her brother, one of those two who Luna knew were twins but always mixed up anyway. Anyway, the tears were okay. Luna felt like crying, too, but out of happiness. It was all over, and most of them had come out alive.

It was all over, and Luna was going to cry, because she had no idea what would happen in the future, but it damn well had to be better than the past.


We can't leave Harry well enough alone, and the movie made us remember that there is this whole 19 years that hasn't been written yet. We can't promise you 19 years, but we do promise closure. Because we need closure with this story (I don't know about ya'll, bu me and Mike started reading this when we were 6 years old.) It's a part of us. It's the books that defined a generation. Our generation. And we need there to be an ending.

So, for Harry, for the books, for us...please reiview.